Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Whataburger in El Paso, Texas is a ubiquitous presence. You cannot drive more than a few miles without seeing another of the anachronistic orange W hanging up in the air. The logo reminds me of the logo for the band Weezer. For this reason alone, I had to check it out, even if it is a chain. Their site says they have stores in 10 southern states. My friend Steve, who used to live in El Paso, said they are all over the place.
The orange theme runs strongly throughout the store. It came off charmingly seedy and dated. But the place was clean and well lit. I ordered at the counter. $5.69 for a Bacon & Cheese Whataburger Combo with fires and a drink. I was handed an orange striped Styrofoam cup and a number 3. I filled up with iced tea and took a faux-oak booth.
In no time at all a very sweet girl clad in the orange uniform brought out my lunch to the table. Besides my meal on its tray she carried a molded plastic tray with compartments for condiments, napkins and other assorted necessities. It was orange of course. I thought a unique and nice touch - worth the trip alone.
The burger appeared to be your standard 1/4-pound patty. It sat on a white, ungrilled bun. The whole team accompanied the burger - lettuce, tomato, bacon, American cheese, mustard, onion and pickle. It was surprisingly good for a chain burger. What a Whopper probably tasted like before microwave ovens.
The fries were thin and crisp and salty, sort of like McDonald’s. At least the closest I have tasted. I mean that as a compliment.
Burger 3 spatulas out of 5
Fries 4 spatulas
El Paso, Texas